Wheaton, Illinois Annulment Lawyers

Warrenville Annulment Lawyers

Attorneys Helping Clients Pursue a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage in Illinois

Although much less common than divorces, annulments are sometimes the appropriate relief for couples, particularly those with short duration marriages. If you believe you have a basis for an annulment, it is important you act quick, as in many circumstances, there are limitations on the time frame they can be sought.

At McSwain Nagle Giese & Rapp, P.C., we assess the situation and help clients determine whether or not their marriage qualifies for an annulment. If the marriage does meet the criteria for annulment, our experienced attorneys guide the client through the process of obtaining a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage to effectively void the marriage. If the marriage does not meet the strict Illinois annulment criteria, we provide effective legal representation and guidance throughout the divorce process.

When Can an Illinois Marriage Be Annulled?

Some people are under the impression that a marriage can be annulled simply because the spouses regret getting married. However, this confusion comes from a basic misunderstanding about what an annulment actually is. Technically called a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage in Illinois, an annulment is a completely different legal proceeding than a divorce or the religious version of annulment. While a divorce ends a marriage, an annulment declares that the marriage was never valid to begin with. In the eyes of the law, a marriage that has been annulled never actually took place.

Under Illinois law, there are several reasons that can cause a marriage to be declared invalid through an annulment, including:

  • The marriage was not consented to by both spouses. As with any legally binding contract, a marriage is only valid if both parties consented to the marriage. If one or both spouses were under the influence of drugs or alcohol or were otherwise mentally incapacitated at the time the marriage was solemnized, the marriage may be declared invalid. A marriage may also quality for annulment if either party entered into the marriage under duress.
  • One or both spouses did not meet the age requirement to get married. In Illinois, parties typically must be at least 18 years old to get married. Individuals aged 16 or 17 may be married only if they have proof of consent from their parents or legal guardians. According to Illinois law, individuals under age 16 may not marry.
  • The marriage was prohibited by law. Bigamy, or the act of getting married while still being legally married to another person, is against the law in the United States. If a spouse was already married to someone else at the time of the marriage, the marriage is invalid. Marriages involving close relatives are also prohibited by law.
  • The marriage was entered into through fraud. In order for fraud to qualify a marriage for annulment, it must involve the "essentials of the marriage." If a spouse lied about his or her wealth or status, for example, this would not be considered grounds for annulment. However, if a spouse only entered into the marriage to avoid deportation, this would likely qualify the marriage for annulment.
  • A spouse lacks the ability to consummate the marriage. In rare cases, an annulment may be granted because one of the spouses cannot engage in sexual intercourse. However, this is only grounds for annulment if the other spouse was unaware of the inability at the time of the marriage.

Put Our Experience on Your Side

At the Wheaton law firm of McSwain Nagle Giese & Rapp, P.C., our attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience helping clients with family-related legal issues. We realize that there is often a very limited window in which to file for an annulment, and that window will depend on the specific reason that the annulment is being sought. When you enlist our help, we will sit down with you, analyze your situation, and develop a strategy that best suits your unique circumstances.

Let Us Help You

If you have reason to believe that your marriage may be invalid, contact our office and speak to an experienced member of our team as soon as possible. Call us at 630-407-1200and schedule a free consultation and case review today. We serve clients in Wheaton, Naperville, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Warrenville, Winfield, and throughout Cook County, Kane County, Kendall County, and Will County.

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